Funding for research into dementia will more than double by 2015 in a bid to make Britain a world leader in the field, David Cameron will announce today.
The Prime Minister will say that tackling the "national crisis" posed by the disease is one of his personal priorities, with the number of people suffering from dementia set to increase to over a million in the next 10 years.
He will say it is a "scandal" that the UK has not done more to address dementia and will announce plans that funding will increase from £26.6 million in 2010 to £66 million in 2015.
Launching a "national challenge on dementia", Mr Cameron will set out plans to step up research into cures and treatments and to ensure that the health and social care systems are equipped to deal with the problem.
The Prime Minister is expected to say:
One of the greatest challenges of our time is what I'd call the quiet crisis, one that steals lives and tears at the hearts of families, but that relative to its impact is hardly acknowledged.
Dementia is simply a terrible disease. And it is a scandal that we as a country haven't kept pace with it. The level of diagnosis, understanding and awareness of dementia is shockingly low. It is as though we've been in collective denial."
Mr Cameron will also say that the costs associated with the disease are higher than those for cancer, heart disease or stroke.
So my argument today is that we've got to treat this like the national crisis it is. We need an all-out fight-back against this disease; one that cuts across society.
We did it with cancer in the 70s. With HIV in the 80s and 90s. We fought the stigma, stepped up to the challenge and made massive in-roads into fighting these killers.
– David Cameron
Now we've got to do the same with dementia. This is a personal priority of mine, and it's got an ambition to match. That ambition: nothing less than for Britain to be a world leader in dementia research and care."
ITV's Social Affairs Editor Penny Marshall interviewed a neurologist, who said that dementia is a 'silent epidemic'.
Key statistics on dementia:
- An estimated 670,000 people in England suffer from dementia, this is expected to double within the next 30 years.
- A YouGov poll showed that 39% of over 55's most feared getting Alzheimers disease. Cancer was second with 25%.
- A 2007 report estimated that dementia cost society £17 billion, this has now risen to £23 billion for the UK.
- The average diagnoses rate for dementia is 42%.